Two New S.P.As Announced in Orkney

New Marine Special Protected Areas Designated to Protect Scottish Seabirds.


Photo Credit: Great Northern Diver by Paul Sharman

A new marine Special Protection Area (S.P.A.) has been announced in Scalpa Flow and North Orkney to protect rare and vulnerable migratory birds including species such as the Great Northern Diver and the Slavonian Grebe. These two new S.P.As add to the total protected areas network in Scotland which covers 37% of the Scottish inshore and offshore regions.

There are 14 S.P.A sites across Scotland’s seas as the result of 10 years of key marine conservation work jointly undertaken by Marine Scotland, NatureScot and Joint Nature Conservation Committee. This is part of the Bute House Agreement which is committed to enhance marine environmental protection as agreed by a shared programme between the Scottish Government and Scottish Green Party Parliamentary Group. 

Photo Credit: Eider Ducks by Muriel Hallé

Here at Hebridean Adventures, we offer a range of Scottish Wildlife Cruises which involve seabird watching for many of the 31 species that are being supported and identified by research done in the marine S.P.A. network. 

We are fortunate to have the West Coast of the Outer Hebrides S.P.A. near us and it is located along the western seaboard of the archipelago of the Outer Hebrides spanning from the north of Harris down to the island of Sandray at the very bottom of the Uists below Barra. This area is home to many of the UK’s breeding seabirds including divers, common eider and long-tailed ducks, grebes and mergansers. There are also many visiting bird species such as plovers, sandpipers, oystercatchers and more which are often spotted on our cruises.

For more information on marine conservation in Scotland, please visit the following links: